This week we explored the effectiveness and usefulness of range of technologies. Each technology had the central purpose to promote creative and critical thinking. We were required to build and experiment with the technologies and gain a deeper insight into its functionality and how it develops student’s creative and critical skills.
Taking a constructionist approach to learning is believed to deepen student’s knowledge and understanding through constructing meaningful prototypes (Paper, 1991). The aim of this approach and the aim educators should have when using technology is to reconfigure learners as producers, rather than consumers (Martinez & Stager, 2014). The Maker Movement in Education value the great potentials of construction. Construction of thoughts and ideas occur in the brain which is transferred and supported by the construction of a physical prototype such as a computer. It assists students to overcome challenges and produce students who are competent problem solvers. They become more confident in working independently without the consistent support from the educator (Martinez & Stager, 2014). The classroom environment should be a place where knowledge is developed from a sequence of experiences (Piaget, 1972).
Kano is a DIY computer kit that teaches students of all ages how to assemble a computer and learn basic programming skills. It’s a great easy to use tool which gives students feelings of satisfaction and achievement when they’ve assembled the computer and it begins to function. The program has many goals that they can aim to achieve such as getting the computer to talk and programming the computer to play a game.
“It’s designed to “to give young people – and the young at heart – a simple, fun way to make and play with technology, and take control of the world around them.” – Kano Computing LTD, 2014
Like all technologies Kano has pedagogical issues that can limit students learning opportunities. The technology is closed-ended as there isn’t much room for independent exploration or construction. It is also slow to respond which can be very time consuming and as a result, would disengage the learners.
Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2014). The maker movement: A learning revolution. International Society for Technology in Education. Available at:https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=106
Papert, S., & Harel, I. (1991). Preface. In I. Harel & S. Papert (Eds.), Constructionism: Research reports and essays, 1985-1990 (pp.1). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Cooperation.
Piaget, J. (1972). To Understand Is To Invent. New York: The Viking Press, Inc.
Kano Computing LTD. (2014). In history. Retrieved 1 June, 2015, from, http://www.kano.me/about